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No plan for converting Handlooms into Powerlooms
10
Dec '09
The Government of India is not contemplating scheme for converting Handlooms into Powerlooms. This information was given by the Minister of State for Textiles, Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi in the Rajya Sabha, in a written reply to a question by Sh. S. Anbalagan.

Explaining the reasons, the Minister said that Handlooms constitute a timeless facet of the rich cultural heritage of India. Tradition of weaving by hand is a part of the country's cultural ethos. The strength of Handloom lies in introducing innovative design, which cannot be replicated by the Powerloom Sector. As an economic activity, the handloom sector occupies a place second only to agriculture in providing livelihood to the people.

Office of Development Commissioner for Handlooms in the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India has been liberally funding the State Governments for implementing various schemes for handloom weavers to address the felt needs of the handloom weavers to enhance their production, productivity and enhance the income and social economic status of the weavers by providing skill up-gradation, infrastructure and input supply support to them.

During the 11th Five Year Plan, the Office of Development Commissioner for Handlooms has been implementing 5 Schemes viz.
(1) Integrated Handlooms Development Schemes.
(2) Handlooms Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme which consisted of Health Insurance Scheme and Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojna.
(3) Mill Gate Price Scheme.
(4) Marketing and Export Promotion Scheme
(5) Diversified Handloom Development Scheme, the Minister added.

The Minister further said that the State Government is also attaching utmost priority in providing continuous employment and regular wages to the Handloom Weavers by extending financial assistance. The Government of Tamilnadu is implementing the free distribution scheme as well as uniform cloth for students with huge financial outlay, thereby, the handloom weavers are getting continuous employment and reasonable wages throughout the year. Government of Tamilnadu is providing free electricity of 100 units by monthly to all the handloom weavers. Further, the Government is also sanctioning Rs.400 as Old Age Pension (OAP) to the weavers who attain 60 years of age and family pension of Rs.550 p.m. to the legal heir of the weaver for 10 years in the event of death of weaver before attaining the age of 60 years.

Under Comprehensive Welfare Scheme, which consist of Health Insurance and Mahatama Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana of the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handlooms) Medical and Insurance benefits are extended to all the weavers as well as ancillary workers both within and outside the cooperative fold.

In view of the several welfare measures taken by Central Government and State Government for the welfare of weavers, there is no urge from the handloom weavers of Tamilnadu for conversion from handlooms to powerlooms, the Minister added.

Ministry of Textiles

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